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Jonah Hoffman, Paige Tayloe, and T.C. Fisher.

GASCONADE COUNTY, Mo. – Three students from Owensville High School won top honors at a nationwide competition in New York for their home-intruder prevention device.

Paige Tayloe, T.C. Fisher, and Jonah Hoffman recently pitched their product during the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow event. As a result, their school received $100,000 from Samsung.

The device is small but strong and simple to use. It’s similar to a door lock but the students say it’s much stronger, preventing an intruder from breaking down a door.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow_April 2, 2019

“The material is an aluminum alloy, which is made to keep airplanes together through space, through turbulence,” Hoffman said. “It’s really strong.”

Their product does not have an official name just yet but it’s beyond the prototype stage. One of the devices is already installed on an Owensville High School classroom.

“We created this as not a last line of defense but something to give students a little bit of extra time to either get to safety or to prepare themselves to protect themselves,” said Tayloe.

The students are now looking into ways to mass produce it because they are getting calls from other schools expressing interest.

“We’ve had multiple schools actually ask us if we can put this into their schools,” Fisher said.

Kevin Lay, the STEM educator and physics teacher for the school, credits hard work and a willingness to collaborate with community experts on aerospace engineering, molding, casting, machining, and marketing for the students’ success.

“You know teachers don’t have all the answers all the time. When you connect them with people who do, the sky’s the limit,” he said. “Beyond the sky is the limit.”

As part of their competition victory, the students will be headed to Washington D.C. later this month to meet with lawmakers and to see if there is interest in using their device to help keep students safe in classrooms across the country.

“It could be potentially mass produced and installed on doors everywhere, absolutely,” Lay said.

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ST. LOUIS – In a Fox 2 follow-up, two custom mopeds stolen from a south St. Louis County garage were recovered this week in St. Louis City. The owner of the vintage bikes said it cost $700 to buy back her property.

Last July, Devon Hettenhausen's mopeds were stolen from her garage in Affton. She was disappointed but hoped she would get them back.

Both mopeds were custom built and one-of-a-kind: a red and black Magnum and a pink Maxi. She said they would be easily identifiable to someone who was familiar with after-market bikes.

As the months passed, Hettenhausen said she gave up hope she would see her mopeds again. She even bought a new bike.

"Sometimes I would wonder if they went to the scrapyard," Hettenhausen said. "Maybe whoever stole them saw the news report, got scared, and ditched them somewhere."

Earlier this week, she got the call she thought would never come.

A friend of a friend saw an ad for a bike on Facebook, contacted the seller, and went to his home in St. Louis to see what he had for sale.

Hettenhausen said the St. Louis moped community is small and they have been keeping an eye out for her stolen property.

"(The buyer) knew my bikes had been stolen, he knew what my bikes looked like, but he didn't know (the Magnum) was mine because they had spray painted it like four or five different colors," she said.

Hettenhausen said the buyer purchased her Magnum moped which had been spray painted several different colors for $600. Then the seller asked the buyer if he would like to see another bike he had in the backyard.

"He said he walked in the backyard and instantly, he knew," said Hettenhausen.

She said her one-of-a-kind pink Maxi bike was in the seller's yard.

"It is completely after-market,” she said. “There is not a single bike that looks like this in America."

The buyer snapped a picture of the bike and told the seller he would think about it. He drove around the block and immediately contacted Hettenhausen's ex-husband, who built the moped from scratch.

The next day, Hettenhausen's ex-husband and police went to the home where the moped was for sale armed with photos of the bike being built.

"(After looking at the photos, the seller) literally said in front of the police, 'This is your bike,' and my ex-husband was like, 'Yes, it is my bike,' and (police) still would not take the bike from him and give it to us," said Hettenhausen. "My ex-husband still had to pay $100 to leave with it."

Missouri law does not require mopeds to be registered. Hettenhausen said vehicle identification numbers are easily removed from the custom-built bikes.

St. Louis County police said they’re still investigating the incident.

In all, it cost $700 to purchase Hettenhausen's mopeds from the seller in St. Louis. She was able to work out a deal with the man who bought her Magnum moped for $600.

Hettenhausen is going to do some work on other bikes the seller owns in exchange for returning her moped. She said she is grateful to him for alerting her to her missing property.

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Lorraine Warren was one of America’s most well-known paranormal investigators. She and her husband, Ed, traveled widely researching paranormal and occult phenomena, writing books and lecturing.

She died “peacefully” in her sleep Thursday night, her son-in-law, Tony Spera, wrote on Facebook. Warren was 92.

The New England Society for Psychic Research, which Warren and her husband Ed founded in Connecticut in 1952, announced the news on its Facebook page: “The NESPR team regretfully announces the passing of our loving teacher, mentor, friend, mother, Lorraine.”

According to “The Demonologist,” a book that details the Warrens’ careers, the couple investigated more 3,000 paranormal and supernatural disturbances. The husband and wife team published numerous books about their exploits and inspired a string of Hollywood hits, including “The Amityville Horror,” “The Conjuring,” and the “Annabelle” movie franchise.

For more than half a century, religious authorities repeatedly called on them during outbreaks of demonic phenomena, including alleged cases of priests being possessed, NESPR’s website says.

She laid the groundwork for numerous Hollywood films

Screenwriters and directors found their muse in Warren’s life work.

“The Amityville Horror,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George, released in 2005, was a remake of the 1979 film of the same name. The Warrens visited the haunted manor in Amityville, New York, in March 1976 with a news crew and a photographer who set up an automatic camera taking infrared photographs. That camera captured an image allegedly of a demonic boy.

Movie buffs might remember the Warrens from the 2013 film “The Conjuring,” in which they figure prominently. It depicts disturbing events at a farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971. The owners of the house called Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate.

A prequel to the Conjuring films, 2014’s “Annabelle,” features a possessed doll and fueled two more films. That real-life doll that inspired the movies is on exhibit at the Warrens’ Occult Museum, located at their home in Monroe, Connecticut.

In 1977, the Warrens investigated paranormal events at a home in Enfield, outside of of London. Those were depicted in the film “The Conjuring 2” in 2016.

The actress Vera Farmiga played Warren in the Conjuring and Annabelle films, with the latest, “Annabelle Comes Home,” set for release this summer.

On Twitter, Farmiga acknowledged Warren’s death. “My dear friend Lorraine Warren has passed. From a deep feeling of sorrow, a deep feeling of gratitude emerges,” she wrote. “I was so blessed to have known her and am honored to portray her.”

She lived to prove the ‘fairy tale is true’

On Facebook, Tony Spera, her son-in-law, paid tribute to Lorraine. “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul,” he wrote. “To quote Will Rogers, she never met a person she didn’t like.”

Warren maintained that her faith anchored her in a life spent trying to rescue people from demons.

“The fairy tale is true. The devil exists. God exists,” a bio for Warren and her husband on NESPR’s site says. “And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow.”

By Ryan Prior, CNN

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The 5-year-old boy who was thrown off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America is showing “real signs of recovery,” according to a post on behalf of the family.

“Our miracle child Landen is showing real signs of recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead. Our faith in God and our Savior Jesus is strong and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue our request for privacy as we focus on Landen and thank you for respecting our wishes,” part of the post on a GoFundMe page says.

The post says the boy has a long recovery ahead, with many surgeries.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, is accused of throwing the young child off the mall balcony and is charged with attempted murder.

According to a criminal complaint, the boy and his mother were outside the Rain Forest Café when Aranda came up close to them. The mother had never seen Aranda before, and she asked if she and her son should move.

Instead, Aranda picked up the boy and threw him over the railing, the complaint states.

Aranda told police he had come to the mall a day earlier intending to kill an adult, but that did not “work out,” according to the complaint.

So he returned Friday and apparently chose the boy instead.

Aranda told police he knew what he was planning to do was wrong. He explained he had visited the mall for years, trying to speak to women there, but they rejected him. Aranda said that made him lash out.

By Amir Vera, CNN

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A 21-year-old woman is expected to survive after being shot Friday morning at the Buzz Westfall Plaza in north St. Louis County.

The shooting happened around 10:45 a.m. outside of Hibbett Sports. The store closed early because of the gunfire.

County police arrived to find the victim inside a bullet-riddled Dodge Charger. She was rushed to a local hospital.

Police have not released any information on a shooter or possible motive.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 314-355-1200 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Today is Good Friday when Christians mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus. A metro-east landmark is holding its annual pre-Easter tradition of the Way of the Cross.

Since 1958, the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows has hosted the devotional tradition, bringing pilgrims from across the bi-state region to Belleville.

With actors and liturgists, the 13 Stations of the Cross were brought to life for the gathered crowd.

Our Lady of the Snows will hold Easter services at 6:45 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. – outdoors if the weather allows. Additional Spanish language services will be held in the afternoon.

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Avon Park Middle School students arrested for conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping - YouTube

AVON PARK, Fla. – Two Florida middle school students are facing felony charges for conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping after their arrests on Wednesday, WFTS reports.

According to arrest records, an Avon Park Middle School teacher noticed the 14-year-old girls acting “hysterical” while looking for a folder. The teacher told authorities she heard one of the teenagers say, “I’m just going to tell them it’s a prank if they call me or if they find it.”

“It doesn’t matter if they thought it was a joke. It’s not a joke. There’s no joking about something like this. You don’t make a joke about killing people. It’s not a joke,” said Scott Dressel with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.

The teacher found the folder and eight hand-written letters inside detailing the plans to kidnap and kill nine people, according to the records. The teacher notified the school resource deputy.

“I couldn’t imagine. She probably panicked and was scared, i would have been. I would have been out of my mind scared to see something like that, it’s just very sad,” said Ty King, a parent.

“Private info,” was written on the front of the folder. Along with, “Do not open,” and “Project 11/9.”

Records say the letters detailed how the teenagers would obtain guns to carry out the killings. They also went on to discuss transporting and disposing of the bodies, according to records.

“This is very sad. It’s troubling. You never know the thoughts running through the mind’s of kids” said King.

One of the letters was about the clothes the teenagers would wear, records state.

“NO NAILS,” it stated in part. “NO Hair Showing from the moment we put these clothes on…”

The teenagers were taken into custody and each face nine counts of criminal attempt to conspire capital felony (premeditated homicide), and three counts of criminal attempt to conspire third degree felony (kidnapping).

“This was a case where the system worked like it was supposed to, a teacher saw something that was suspicious, followed it up, found something and alerted the school authorities and the school resource deputy,” said Dressel.

The Deputy Superintendent for Highlands County Schools, Andrew Lethbridge, sent us the following statement:

“We would like to remind students (and everyone) that we are all held accountable for the information that we communicate. The SBHC takes threats very seriously and we work closely with the HCSO to investigate them. We have stressed the concept that if staff or students hear or see something that concerns them, to please share that information with someone that can do something about it. In this situation, we witnessed this concept in action. This enables us to be proactive and respond to situations prior to an incident taking place.”

The students’ mugshots and identities are being withheld due to their age.

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KPLR11 by Monica Adams - 9h ago

ST. LOUIS - The 26th annual Bark in the Park is on May 18th and all donations will be going to the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT).

The Humane Society of Missouri’s ACT serves to investigate, heal, and prevent animal abuse. There are 15 full-time officers that respond to calls in St. Louis as well as natural disasters all over the country.

"We recently returned from hurricanes in both Texas and Georgia, Louisiana,” says Shana Cook, Humane Society of Missouri Special Events Manager. “We [also] assist those welfare organizations that are working to pull animals out of situations [and] out of flooded homes.”

​Fox 2 and KPLR 11 are proud sponsors of Bark in the Park, the Humane Society's largest annual fundraiser. With the Purina Incredible Dog Team, barn buddies from Long Meadow Rescue Ranch, an agility course, and lots and lots of dogs, this will be an event you don’t want to miss.

Bring your dog and come down to Bark in the Park on May 18th at Cricket Field in Forest Park. Register by April 30th to save $10 on registration. Visit the Humane Society’s website to sign up and learn more.

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – On Thursday, John Gaskin, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, held a news conference to announce his chapter was supporting the Better Together initiative to merge the city and county of St. Louis. During that same news conference, Gaskin disclosed that he’s working as a paid consultant for Unite STL, a campaign committee pushing for the merger.

On Friday, Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones called on Gaskin to resign.

"Mr. Gaskin should have revealed his conflict of interest to everyone prior to any vote by the board and have allowed public input,” he said. “We are demanding that Mr. John Gaskin III, resign from his position with the NAACP."

Gaskin said members of the county NAACP knew about his new community outreach job with Unite STL and not one member of the has expressed a problem with his position and that what he is doing is not uncommon.

“Several c4 organizations work closely to get these ballot measures passed with various individuals in these organizations and not only as consultants but as well as staff members,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin said his volunteer role at the NAACP is one of looking out for the best interests of the African-American community. He wants Mayor Jones and anyone else condemning his efforts to join the NAACP.

“We can agree (and) disagree without being disagreeable,” Gaskin said. “I welcome all municipal leaders who disagree with our position on this to come to our next meeting and be involved in our organization.”

Gaskin said he’d recuse himself if there was ever a moment where he was in an unethical situation.

“Most people who have an issue with this position are elected officials and municipalities that are unfortunately viewing this as a loss rather than a gain,” he said.

Fox 2/KPLR 11 reached out to Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones for comment but have not heard back as of Friday afternoon.

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ST. LOUIS – While many Christians will observe Easter this Sunday, the Rovey family of Litchfield, Illinois will spend Easter St. Louis Children's Hospital. But it’s a day they will never forget, as they celebrate new life and new hope for their 10-year-old daughter, who needed a new heart.

"That very first surgery they told us that we were going to lose her and about an hour or so later they came back and they had her revived and continued on with the surgery,” said Jessica Rovey.

It would be the first of three open-heart surgeries for Emma, born with hyperplastic left heart syndrome, a defect where the left side of the baby’s heart is underdeveloped.

Emma was doing okay until about a year ago when she started experiencing chest patinas, vomiting, and tiredness. About a month and a half ago, doctors said the only hope was a heart transplant. She was on the transplant list for two weeks and a day. Then the family received a phone call on Wednesday.

“‘We need you to head down.’ They asked me how long it would take me to get here. I said I would be here within two hours,” Rovey said.

Doctors told the family the surgery may take 20 hours. It only took eight hours.

Emma is in recovery and doing well, the family said.

"I believe everything happens for a reason and, you know, God answered our prayers and He was in there the whole time with her and I couldn't be more grateful," Rovey said.

The donor heart came from a child. Rovey said she doesn’t know the identity of the donor's family but she has started the process of finding them so she can meet and thank them in person.

"I just want to tell them how sorry I am for them for losing their child but I also want to thank them for giving my child a second chance at life. I never can repay them for this but my heart will always be with them," she said.

As far as Emma's immediate future, her mother said they’ll take things day by day. Doctors hope Emma’s body won’t reject the new heart. She may be in the hospital for another two weeks before she is allowed to go home.

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